Saturday, February 5, 2011

??? THEOLOGY ???

Many church members are sloppy in how they talk about God.

Most Church members do not read the Bible carefully enough.

The idea of doing theology scares most church members.

How do we get past the strange terminology so that we can simply talk about God in a meaningful way?

Totally Useless Information

I received a book for Christmas called, “The Book of Totally Useless Information” that was an enjoyable read. Part way through this book I began to discover that some of the information was useless because it was wrong. So I began double checking some of the questionable facts. Sure enough it was bad information but to be fair some of the information was correct.

I also receive many emails telling me about outlandish things, usually political. Sometimes it says that it is approved by “snoops” so I should accept it as facts. However when I actually go to snoops and check it I discover that the information is opposite from the claim sent to me. The email usually invites me to forward this to my email list. We have to be careful doing that because that may also give the originator all my email information and even access to my computer. I don’t forward anything that an email asks me to.

Totally useless information can also be dangerous information.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Change Happens


In our earliest years, CHANGE and growth are synonymous. Each change represents a new level of accomplishments. The new born blinks his way into the world, and then the changes come quickly. First sitting up, crawling, standing, walking and then he is so fast that you have to watch him like a hawk.

In some church nurseries hangs a needle point quote from First Corinthians 15; "THEY SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP, BUT THEY SHALL ALL BE CHANGED." And they are changed in many ways, and change means growth and it is good.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sacred Solitude

There is a place at the inner most center of every soul where we most irrefutably hear the voice of God telling us that we are loved. To hear that still small voice we must quiet ourselves and find our place of sacred solitude. It is during our holy quietness that we discover the foundation of our relationship with God. It is not found in the noise of religious gatherings but in that place of aloneness with God.

That sacred solitude is where we find the Holy Spirit changing our lives by redirecting our spirits to follow Jesus to follow Jesus. This is the place where I first heard God calling me to ministry. This is the place where we feel grace and the love of God flowing through us like a series of waves on the beach of our existence. To be refreshed in our spirits we need to continually seek this place known only to us and God.

I do not diminish the experience of the gathering of saints in worship and study for that too is an important part of the Christian life. Both the sacred solitude and the joyful noise are vital to a well rounded soul in love with God. Each Christian needs both experiences for fulfillment. Seek the Holy Spirit in both places regulary.  

Monday, January 31, 2011

Be Debt Free

So many people I know of are deep in debt to the point of pain and loosing everything they own. No so long ago we had a time of easy credit, way too easy. People were being told on TV that it was a good idea to take out an equity loan to pay off high interest credit cards. Offers arrived in the mail almost daily for new pre-approved credit cards and my credit card bills came with “check” that were good for paying of my other credit cards. We could purchase a big house with nothing down.

Well we know what happened with all that easy credit. How do people get past the debt? Personal Financial Discipline is the key. No one “forced” people to  accept all that easy credit but it was enticing.  There are some basic steps to financial peace of mind.

1.     Start paying off all your debt starting with the smallest. When that is paid off take that payment and add it to your payment of the next smallest debt until all unsecured debts are paid off.
2.     On your mortgage pay a little extra each month to reduce your principal faster. Pay off your home early.
3.     Set up an “Emergency Savings Account” adding as much as you can each month
4.     Invest in a retirement fund and add to it.

By taking baby steps in the beginning you can become debt free by building up your personal financial discipline one month at a time.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The DEADline

I remember when I first attended the University of Texas and encountered the “Term Paper” that was assigned at the beginning of the course. The term papers always had a “deadline” that was usually near the end of the term. That meant that I had a lot of time to work on it. The nasty thing about that idea was that I often did nothing for t he paper until a week prior to the dreaded deadline. The dead line was just that, if t he paper was not in by that time the value for my grade was ZERO. As that often meant a third to half of the grade so I would be DEAD as far as that course was concerned.

God also gives us several deadlines. We have until the end of our lives to accept Jesus as our savior or we have until the second coming. I have known of people who wanted to wait until just before they died to be baptized so they could sin all they wanted. The problem with that idea is the great unknown factor of either our time of death or of the second coming. Either deadline can loom large when all the while the evil one whispers in our spiritual ears, “There is no hurry.”